Why Hellblade’s Combat Deserves More Love?

Intense, Immersive, Simple and Emotionally Charged Battles!

Why Hellblade's Combat Deserves More Love?
Why Hellblade's Combat Deserves More Love?

Listening to my friend’s advice and playing Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will forever be one of the best gaming decisions I have ever made. I mean just look at this game. What a true masterpiece it is.

From Melina Juergens’s portrayal of Senua to the game’s intense story, perfection is the hallmark of this game. No wonder why Juergens individually and Hellblade won awards at BAFTA

Captured Via VeryAliGaming
Captured Via VeryAliGaming

Key Takeaways:

  • Hellblade’s Senua Sacrifice won the award for Best Game at the Bafta Awards, while Melina Juergins was hailed as the Best Performer at the Game Awards 2017.
  • The combat mechanics are simple and consist of, light attack, heavy attack, block, and dodge.
  • The voices in Senua’s head work as an integral part of the game guiding Senua through her journey and helping her in defending herself during battles.

The game did justice to my money, by delivering its promise of a deep, psychological narrative interweaving with Norse mythology. What I didn’t expect was that the game’s combat would get such a dry response

We often see modern games overwhelming players with their complex combos and endless skills. However, Hellblade has an almost minimalist approach to its combat system. The combat is pure to its finest: light attacks, heavy attacks, dodge, and blocks.

Does that mean this simplicity can be taken as a shallow combat? I don’t think so! On the contrary, it demands your timing and sense of awareness, precisely using your attacks to make the fights against Protectors and Warriors, meaningful.

Combat Techniques

The combat has a few key aspects that players should keep in mind. The light attacks are fast and are enough to give instant blows to enemies. While the heavy attacks are slow, they help you drop down enemies in two to three attacks.

Senua fighting a Protector
Senua fighting a Protector

Moreover, when there is more than one enemy, the attacks and blocks should be timed correctly. As they move towards you slowly, you have plenty of time to position yourself well. If you block their strikes at the right moment, you can stagger them back, giving yourself room to gain an upper hand.

Blocking enemy's attacks
Blocking enemy’s attacks

Furies, The Voices

The game’s breaking point is the voice in Senua’s head, called Furies. The voices truly set Hellblade’s combat apart. When battling against a horde of enemies, the voices come as a blessing in disguise. That’s the part where combat shines the brightest.

Senua standing her ground against a group of Viking Warriors
Senua standing her ground against a group of Viking Warriors

The voices warn you when you can’t see an attack coming. Learn to block or dodge immediately when they tell you to. To experience the voices clearly, I would advise you to use a headphone. The voices practically double the value of the Hellblade’s combat system.

 Hellblade’s Combat Is Simple Yet Unique

I believe the combat of Hellblade should have garnered more recognition. It is a brilliant mix of depth and simplicity. I get that it might be frustrating for some players to not get a tutorial for combat. Neither it is some DmC-level complexity. But each combat sequence stays strongly relevant to the story.

And to be fair, once you figure out the combat controls on your own, it manages to become relaxingly satisfying. 

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